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The Pirates in Suite 2A

$10K fine confirmed in Hot97 pirate case

The Enforcement Bureau of the FCC has confirmed a $10,000 fine in the case of an unlicensed radio station that had leased space in a Hyde Park, Mass., office building. It said the three people involved hadn’t replied to its earlier notice.

The penalty against Delroy Johnson, Paul Parara and his cousin Richard Parara is for a transmitter that was heard on 97.5 MHz in Hyde Park and Dorchester. The station in the Boston area called itself WPOT “Hot97” and advertised on its website, which remains active.

The signal was traced first to a commercial building at One Westinghouse Plaza in Hyde Park. The FCC visited, found an antenna and followed the coax to a basement studio in leased Suites 2 and 2A. It issued a warning to Richard Parara, instructing him to turn the station off immediately.

The signal was heard again; the agents visited again and gave a similar warning to Paul Parara. But the FCC received a subsequent complaint from at least one station in town that the pirate was back on the air.

In September the FCC traced a 97.5 signal to a different address in Dorchester; the antenna was found mounted on top of a sawed-off tree. In the basement the agents found the same transmission equipment that they had seen a couple of months earlier. Marcia Johnson told the FCC that her stepson Delroy Johnson had installed the station, telling her he had a license.

“Because Delroy Johnson, Paul Parara and Richard Parara knowingly operated a radio station and because the station continued to operate despite repeated warnings that the station was illegal, we find that the violation was willful,” the Enforcement Bureau ruled in its notice of apparent liability. “The operation took place on more than one day; we therefore find that the violation was repeated.” By leasing office space, it found, the three also had “provided services and facilities incidental to the transmission of unlicensed communications by radio.”

Last winter the station was on the air again at 87.7 in the market, according to several online references.